FERPA - Parents Guide to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

What is FERPA? The same laws that give parents and students access to and control over a child's educational records during elementary and high school transfer ownership of that record to the student at the college level. According to FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, also known as the Buckley Amendment), college students are considered responsible adults and are allowed to determine who will receive information about them.

Under this law, parents who want to receive a copy of their student's academic or financial records can do so if their student signs a release form.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How will UAA communicate with me as a parent?

Your student will be your primary link to the university. We will communicate directly with your student about anything that might affect his or her educational experience; you can learn about these communications by talking with your student directly.

How can I get a copy of my student's grades?

The quickest, easiest way for parents to receive information about their child's grades, financial statement, or other student information is to approach your son or daughter directly. Students can look up information online, print it off, and give or e-mail a copy to their parents. Student records are available through UAOnline

Are there release forms that would give me access to grades and financial information?

Please visit the UAA home page at www.uaa.alaska.edu. Under UAA Forms you can find the following helpful documents:

Authorization to Release Educational Record Information: A student may file this document to allow someone other than themselves access to their student records.

Registration Proxy Form: Using this form the student may give another individual the authority to transact registration business on their behalf.

Who else gets to see my child's educational records?

To protect your child's privacy, the university is generally prohibited from disclosing personally identifiable information about your child without their written consent.Exceptions to this rule include:

    • disclosures made to school officials with legitimate educational interest
    • disclosures made to another school at which the student intends to enroll
    • disclosures made to state or local education authorities for auditing or evaluating federal- or state-supported education programs, or enforcing federal laws that relate to those programs
    • disclosures including information the school has designated as "directory information"

Where can I find out more information about FERPA?

FERPA is enforced by the U.S. Department of Education. The Department maintains a FERPA website (with links to FERPA regulations) at: http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/ferpalist.html

What does it mean to say a record is "protected" by FERPA?

Unless personally identifiable information from a students education record falls under a specified exception, the information cannot be released to third parties (including parents) without signed and dated written consent from the student.

Will I be notified if my student is put on academic probation, or is subject to a academic dismissal?

No. Information about grades and academic standing is sent directly to students. You can, of course, ask your child to keep you informed about his or her academic performance.

How will I know if my student is subject to University disciplinary action?

The University disciplinary system is administered by the Dean of Students Office. Staff members routinely urge students to inform their parents if they are accused of any disciplinary offense. Students can also authorize release of all the information in their disciplinary files. A copy of the file can then be sent to a parent or legal guardian, upon request.


Designated Directory Information

The following information is designated as directory information by the university:

  1. Names of students
  2. Dates of attendance at the university
  3. Program/major field(s) of study
  4. Degrees and certificates received including dates
  5. Participation in officially recognized university activities
  6. Academic and co-curricular awards, honors, and scholarships received and dates received
  7. Weight and height of students on athletic teams
  8. Students' electronic mail  addresses
  9. Hometown; city and state

Who to Contact Regarding My Student's Privacy?

Who can parents call if they have additional questions about student privacy rights at the University of Alaska Anchorage?

Lora Volden, University Registrar